Ambati Rayudu has “ordered 3d glasses” to watch the World Cup, a day after he was pipped by the “three-dimensional” Vijay Shankar in the Indian squad for the showpiece event. All-rounder Shankar was preferred over the 33-year-old Rayudu for the contentious number four spot in India’s World Cup squad. “Just Ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the world cup,” Rayudu wrote on his Twitter handle Tuesday.
Disappointment knocked on Rayudu’s door when his name was left out of the squad just a few months after captain Virat Kohli had more or less earmarked him for the number four position.
“We did give a few more chances to Rayudu but Vijay Shankar gives three dimensions. He can bat, if the conditions are overcast, he can bowl, plus he is a fielder. We are looking at Vijay Shankar as a No. 4,” chief selector MSK Prasad said Tuesday, justifying his selection.
Prasad’s view was seconded by former captain Sunil Gavaskar, who called Shankar a “very handy cricketer”. On the other hand, in his quest to ramp up his limited-overs game, Rayudu had even given up on white ball cricket but he has struggled to be consistent.
Three poor outings against Australia in the five-match ODI home series seemed to have put paid to his hopes. The experienced batsman also could not light up the Indian Premier League in a way he would have liked.
While he enjoys an average of 47.05 in 55 ODIs, the three failures against Australia hurt him.
The batsman was the team’s number four since Asia Cup last year. Between then and the home series against Australia, Rayudu scored one century and four fifties. A 113-ball 90 in New Zealand earlier this year paved the way for India’s victory after they were tottering at one stage.
He played only two ODIs during the tour of Australia, but was the highest run-getter for India in the ODIs on the tour of New Zealand, with 190 runs in five innings at an average of 63.33 and a strike rate of 82.25.
But the performances were not enough for him to ensure a ticket to the United Kingdom.